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Repair Your Gums With Periodontal Therapy

Your teeth can last a lifetime if you take proper care of them and avoid the onset of periodontal disease. Without good daily oral hygiene, gingivitis, a mild form of gum disease, is nearly inevitable. Without proper treatment, gingivitis can advance to periodontitis, a more serious bacterial gum infection. Periodontitis can lead to bone tissue loss and eventually tooth loss. As the gums detach from the teeth, tiny pockets – unreachable by flossing and brushing – are created for bacteria to grow. Gum disease can be controlled by both surgical and non-surgical periodontal therapy procedures aimed at restoring gum health.

Signs and Symptoms of Gum Disease

Although periodontal disease is possible without any obvious symptoms, here are some warning signs:

  • Bleeding gums – Gums should not bleed from brushing too hard. If your gums bleed, it could be a sign of gum disease.

  • Bad breath – Buildup of bacteria and plaque on teeth can cause bad odor.

  • Gum redness or swelling – Usually the first noticeable sign of gum disease is inflamed gums.

  • Receding gums – When gum tissue recedes from the tooth surface, more tooth structure and even its root(s) may get exposed, making the tooth appear longer.

  • Tooth sensitivity – Sensitivity to hot or cold may occur when the tooth’s root(s) become exposed from gum recession.

  • Periodontal abscess – Periodontal pocket filled with pus caused by a bacterial infection becomes painful and swollen.

  • Loose teeth – Teeth become loose when gum disease leads to bone loss. Excessive teeth grinding or clenching can cause tooth loss.

 

Treatment Options

Evaluation of your oral hygiene practices and how to improve them is the beginning of periodontal therapy. Using deep cleaning techniques, such as scaling, root planning, or debridement, plaque and tartar are removed from root surfaces using a hand scaler or ultrasonic scaling instrument. To aid with the healing process and pocket depth reduction, antimicrobial agents or antibiotics may be applied locally. In some cases, surgical procedures may be necessary. To keep the treatment cost down and reduce the number of surgeries, a combination of treatment procedures may be used.

In addition to scaling or root planning, other periodontal therapy procedures include:

  • Gum Grafting – takes healthy tissue in the mouth (roof of mouth, healthy gum tissue nearby, or lab-processed tissue) and attaches it to an area of lost gum tissue.

  • Periodontal Plastic Surgery – shapes gums, teeth, and/or jaw to improve the overall look and function of mouth (smile).

  • Periodontal Laser Treatment – uses a laser to remove unhealthy gum tissue.

  • Crown Lengthening Surgery – removes/adjusts gum tissue to uncover more tooth structure to fix gummy smiles, make teeth look longer, and help prepare teeth for crowns or bridges.

  • Dental Implant Surgery – places an artificial titanium tooth root into the jaw to hold a crown in place, serving as a permanent solution for missing teeth.

Periodontal Disease and Your Overall Health

A link exists between periodontal disease and serious medical conditions, such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and premature births. The level of systemic inflammation increases with moderate to severe gum disease, according to research. Also, bacterial strains found in blood vessel plaques of people with cardiovascular disease are the same strains found in periodontal pockets around diseased teeth. Reducing periodontal inflammation may help reduce systemic inflammation.

Preventive Strategies 

Daily brushing and flossing are the best ways to prevent gum disease. To maintain good periodontal health, regular dental visits and professional cleanings (every 3, 4 or 6 months) are essential. Detection of early stages of periodontal disease is possible with an evaluation of the gum tissue. Radiography can help assess bone tissue health. Healthy eating, reducing stress, and eliminating unhealthy habits like smoking are other things you can do now to help you keep your teeth for life.

If you have signs of gum disease, contact our dental experts at Vienna Family Dentistry & Implant Center today.